IN PICTURES: The largest creature on the planet, the blue whale, makes an appearance

The Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises, which ferry patrons out to sea to learn about local oceans and the environment, gave the media on Wednesday a chance to see the largest living creatures on the planet: the blue whale.

The whales, which are endangered, did not disappoint.

Researchers study the largest animal on the planet, the endangered blue whale, which has been spotted in the waters off of Long Beach. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

Marine researchers home base as they study the largest animal on the planet, the endangered blue whale. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

A pod of dolphins swims through the water on our way to find the largest animal on the planet. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

A dolphin fluke as it dives back in the water as the pod swims by. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

An oil rig is seen in the distance as the largest animal on the planet, the endangered blue whale breaks the surface of the water. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

A back fin of the largest animal on the planet, the endangered blue whale. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

The blowhole of a blue whale which has been spotted. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

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